Rocking Drag Right to Right

Just before contact


At the end of leader's drag

At the end of "lady's drag"

Argentine Tango 4
with Andrew Conway (Phila., Pa.)
and Kana Kubota (New York, NY)

DT: When you first contact the lady's foot on the drag, where are you standing and what are you doing?

Andrew: To the right of the follower, partially turning into the grapevine, towards the left hand grapevine. All my weight is on my left foot.

DT: And it looks like the dragging foot is initially bent?

Andrew: Correct. Normally we want to do drag with our toes down or on the ball of our foot, heel off the ground. We bend our leg and our leg will move in an arc and the follower's leg will move in a straight line as in the side step of her grapevine.

DT: Are there usual hurdles to overcome when learning rocking drags?

Andrew: Yes, a lot of leaders tend to drag with a flat foot. And if the leader is dragging the lady's foot, the standing or weighted foot has to be ahead of the dragging foot before the dragging foot catches up to it. The dragging foot will catch up and pass, and we'll bring in this case our right leg in front of us.

DT: Kana, is this figure difficult to follow on the social dance floor, especially with the follower "dragging" the leader's foot?

Kana: To follow this? No, this lead and follow is pretty easy. It may be harder for the leader, but for the ladies it's very easy. The harder part is when gentleman is dragging his foot forward or our foot backward, . The second drag is easy to follow. Although it may appear that the lady is dragging his foot, we are still following his foot.

DT: What challenges does this figure pose for the followers?

The leader may choose to do other moves, so ladies should never assume to drag his leg back. I see all the time when ladies learn this figure, they start assuming that they will drag back right away, and do not wait for gentleman to lead next move. He is still initiating our foot away from us. We have to keep our connection foot to foot very clear and still follow his lead.

DT: What if he would not want you to follow his foot with your foot, what would he do?

Kana: He will take away the connection before he moves his foot. Sometimes he does the first drag and lead into a leg wrap or a gancho or some other move instead of leading lady to drag back, or, he could close his feet and lead us to another drag while moving forward again.

DT: So a key for the follower is to wait for the lead and not to assume anything?

Kana: Always. It is not simply "a key", it is one of the most important keys in tango.

Some Keys:
Ladies should wait for the follower and not assume or anticipate the next lead. The gentlemen drag with the heel of the dragging foot off the floor, not flat-footed.

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